Under fire from the court over the “illegal construction” of ‘Biju Samadhi’ at Swargadwar, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik played a masterstroke by announcing a series of sops for Sevayats in Puri or ‘Pandas’ so that they can take up his case and express solidarity with his decisions.
The Cabinet announced low cost housing schemes for the Sevayats, who do not have houses in Puri. Around 5 acres of land have been identified for this purpose. In addition, 1,930 Sevayat families in Puri will get insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh each. In total, 8,900 members will be covered under the insurance scheme.
A Model Public School will be set up on 10 acres of land in Puri for the benefits of children of Sevayats. They will get free education apart from a scholarship of Rs 100 – Rs 500 from Class I till Class X. The children of Sevayats will get scholarship up to Rs 25,000 if they pursue vocational education and training.
The move is also seen as BJD’s counter to the reports and speculations that Puri Gajapati and Shankaracharya may lend support to the BJP in Odisha.